Maps started at the end. The end of the night, the end of the music. When the last beat was dropped and the needle finally slipped off the groove, a lost soul began drifting through empty Northampton streets in the vague direction of home. Alas, he never arrived. For it was during his euphoric twilight stumble that this particular ending gave way to a bright new beginning; it was here, in the half light of a joyously desolate Sunday morning, that Maps made itself exist. Spinning through Earth's orbit, he was the first audionaut of our generation.
In reality, it was in a drowsy little village somewhere in the outer reaches of a nondescript midland satellite town that Maps came to exist. Floating through these most uninspiring of surroundings, Maps motherbrain James Chapman came upon a sound that was at once monumental and intimate; glorious and uplifting yet strangely melancholic.
His debut album We Can Create - recorded in his tiny bedroom, then co-produced in an Icelandic moonbase with Valgeir Sigurdsson (Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Björk) and mixed by Ken Thomas (Sigur Rós, Hope of the States) - is a work of heart-stopping extremes. Its eleven tracks run the full length of the transmission spectrum, from euphoric space-rock to folksy, downtempo whisperings and clattering, thudding noise-pop
'It will find you,' he sings optimistically on the song of the same name. If you're reading this, it already has.